tv [untitled] September 8, 2013 12:00am-12:31am PDT
one of the really big issues with restaurants, any place we have an assembly, is letting people know that there's a reason to evacuate a building and being able to get out of the building. we are here looking at a couple things. the first thing we're looking at, tom, is signage. >> we would be looking for their exit signs and that their emergency lighting is maintained. . >> we have an illuminated exit sign and right above the exit sign you have lights that go on in the event of power failure in the building. we have this little device that is a visual alarm and a very loud -- people who have hearing impairment, there is very very bright lights as well. >> we always walk to the final end of the exit and there
should be hardware on the door so you just push it and go. we would check to see it's maintained and that there's panic hardware. >> we have panic hardware. . >> welcome to the town hall restaurant. mitch, what did you think of that food? (applause). usually the inspectors don't actually eat the food, so this is an unusual opportunity. we appreciate that. thank you. we look at other stuff. >> exactly. >> before it gets here. town hall just now celebrating its third birthday, november 6. a wee little thing, 3 years old. we are in this beautiful historic building here at the corner of howard and fremont.
when was the building built? . >> 1907. >> right after the earthquake. >> one of the first five, that's what i was told. >> what do you know about the history of the building, what it was used for? . >> they worked on boat engines here. at the front of the building there's a hoist and you can see they would bring those engines up to the second floor and it was many things. we've seen some pictures of different incarnations of what it was over the years. >> one of those things was a restaurant. >> it was a chinese take out restaurant but it seems like it was more on this side then it was also a place called the old corner, which was a bar-tavern type of place. >> the old corner. that's the place that has the pound and a half burger. >> the snicker doodle or something. was there a ballpark around here? .
>> as this building has changed in use it's also undergone a seismic upgrade. as we look around, you can see big steel braces down along that wall and up in the back, right beside the window you see these big diagonal braces. they did a seismic upgrade and came back and did it again. >> we were fortunate to get the use of that. there was the original pressed tin ceiling that they had ripped out so i guess it's plywood under here. the original floor is under here. they had told us it's just dirt but actually it's an old redwood floor under here. but it would cost about $100,000 because the way it was retrofited they would have had to pick it up and raise it. >> a lot of times when buildings become restaurants, they trigger all sorts of code
requirements for upgrades. if you change from office space it a restaurant, you trigger all sorts of additional requirements because there's an increased hazard in the building code for restaurants. you have special exiting requirements, you have problems with preserving life safety for high numbers of people. a restaurant like this, how many seats do you have in here? . >> 85. >> we don't count seats in the building department, we look at square footage. typically for a restaurant we say 15 square feet per person will tell us -- we can figure it out how many people would be in the restaurant. based on that number, we can figure out how many exits are required but it's a lot more than for an office space. what's an office space occupant load, typically a hundred on the ground floor, 100 square feet per person. so you can see it's a much higher density. we calculate those loads a little differently for bar areas where we say 1 person for
every 18 inches, is that right, 18 or 24, depending on the use. that's right, go ahead. we also calculate reception areas differently. so, for example, where people are standing by the main entry waiting to be seated, we have a very concentrated occupant load so we would calculate that at either 3 square feet per person, about that big, or 7 is the concentrated occupant load. usually the waiting area is calculated 3 square feet per person. that's not very much space. that's packing them in. >> you hope you are packing them in. >> you hope. you are busy all the time here. i've driven by and seen people waiting. >> we are, yeah. >> the building inspection usually look at the restaurant only when it was first constructed or renovated with a permit.
we don't go out every year and look at a restaurant. you are building a restaurant and you are dealing with the building inspector because the building is going on. once that building is done, we will issue a certificate of occupancy. the fire department, however, will issue an annual certificate of occupancy. some of the things they would look at would be an illuminated exit sign. right up here, tom, that is illuminated. you can hardly see it because it's sobriety in here, but it's illuminated. there is an exit door and the door has panic hardware on it and the fire inspector will check and make sure the panic hardware is operational and the door is not propped open or something like that. >> and the exits are clear all
the way outside so there's nothing blocking, not used for storage. like i said, this restaurant was very clear for us just coming in on a somewhat unannounced visit here, it really worked out very well. >> an exit. an exit is interesting. an exit doesn't just get you outside the building. an exit gets you to the street or public way. here we have an exit from the building, it gets you out into this little private area out of the building, this little private area, that's not the end of the exit. the exit has to get you all the way to the street. they could have, for example, put a fence up there that would block your exit to the street. that would be a problem. it's actually open, completely open, which is good. >> any special requirements on wood burning stoves? . >> that's a really good question. about 4 or 5 years ago the board of supervisors passed an ordinance that said you could not have a wood burning appliance, wood burning fireplace in your home or business, unless it was of a
certified emission control type that basically has a very high efficiency, high temperature burn so you don't have a lot of particulate emissions. and there is an exception to that ordinance that says wood-burning ovens are permitted in restaurants, period. so there's an exception to that. there's also an exception to historic buildings where you have historic fireplaces, you are allowed to maintain them and you are also allowed to repair but you can't actually replace wood-burning appliances. what a wood-burning oven has to do to meet the specific requirements of the building code, how to meet the requirements. it has to meet the specific requirements of how you build it. it has to have a hearth of a certain distance, clearance of combustibles, it has to be made of the right materials. it has to have its own chimney, its own chimney.
fireplaces, wood-burning have chimneys. >> and the maintenance on those is much more than these would be. you have to clean those out once a month. >> the code requires that you exhaust 3 different products of cooking. one is heat, one is steam, and one is grease and vapors. heat and steam only need a so-called type 2 hood, it doesn't have to be welded all the way up, but type 1 for grease-laden vapors is welded all the way. this is sheldon lu from the health department. sheldon, he actually was here when they did a recent health inspection, i understand, and alicia is the district health inspector.
here is their score, it was 98 down from 100. 98 is fantastic. how many restaurants in the city have scores of 100. >> we don't have a lot because we have a new program that is similar to other programs in the state of california where there's a, b, c grading, we have a number grading here in san francisco. so, therefore, it's a brand new program, we are trying to get with our operators to participate to do things the same way we do and we will have things, i would say about 10 percent or maybe 15 percent of places are 90 or above. we expect that to be higher as they get used to our scoring system of what is really hazardous, what is not as hazardous and what is low hazard. high hazard you get points off,
fairly large pipbts off. next one would be called moderate, small things like a door closed. we'll seeing how it works right now. if things work well, the state of california will revise, they have some sense of what the restaurant is all about. . >> i remember when that started up, it wasn't very long ago you started scoring restaurants here a year or two years ago. >> about a year and a half. >> there was a lot of opposition. i don't know who was opposing -- has that opposition faded and people --. >> there is still exceptions that people don't like this scoring system, but it was something that was in process of becoming there, it's going to be there. this is the information age, people want to know about the restaurant and so this was
natural progression. so there was opposition but i think those who opposed it understood that people want to know where they are spending their money at and it's important for them to know a score and the time the inspection was performed. so it's actually worked out pretty well and it's abating some of those complaints. >> so, mitch, people call and say what's your score? . >> no. but we were really excited when we got the hundred. it was like getting a good review from the local, you know, reviewer on our food because we try to keep the standard -- we want the standard to be as high as we can get in everything. so you can't serve good food and probably have a dirty kitchen. i don't think it works like that. everything has to be kept --. >> what do you have to do to get a score like that? . >> it's the same as making sure good food is coming out, it's a daily thing of talking to your people. everyone gets really busy in restaurants and you are not on your own time.
you come in, you are preparing the food and then all of a sudden it's, like, bam, whether you are ready or not and that's when it can get sort of hairy and that's when people really have to pay attention. it's a constant thing, like having children. >> what is an effective score for a restaurant. >> that's what we're looking at. in the city and county of san francisco, the ordinance says if you are 90 or above, that would be like an a. in the 80's would be a b. 70's would be a c and lower than that we would have some issues we would have to work on a little harder. fortunately someplace like this, which is an excellent place, it had 100 the first time around, 98 the second time armed. if they achieve the opportunity to get anything above 90 again, they will get a symbol of
excellence from the department of public health which they can put in the window and displayed we have consistently met the standards by the state code and the city and county of san francisco recognizes that through their inspectional process that we are continuing to be excellent. that helps us what we see here, what we observe, what we consistently see -- our inspections are never scheduled. we come when we need to come but we never tell them ahead of time. so they are completely unaware we are coming out. we catch a snapshot of them and it might be the busiest time. it might be an opportunity for them but we get to see them in action. that's important for our public to know we're not going there late at night when everything is cleaned up. what's the use? we need to see them in action. >> when your inspector comes in a restaurant, what sort of is the sequence of things you look at? what do you do? . >> the first thing we do is identify ourselves first with our badge because we know that
-- we don't want them to have someone else that might misrepresent themselves. then we directly usually go to the kitchen where the action starts. we want to see the kitchen because by the time we start doing everything else peripheral, things might be changing in the kitchen that we don't actually get to see what the kitchen looks like. so we usually start with the kitchen first, the heart of the facility, and see how they prepare the foods, seeing where things are generally organized. we're looking for cross-contamination items. >> what do you mean by cross-contamination? . >> for example, you have raw chicken, you have raw chicken being defrosted and it's right next to an area that's doing salad. there's a cross-contamination problem. there's a possibility for that. >> how long does your inspection usually take? do you usually know -- if they know you are inspecting that --. >> a facility like this it depends.
it could be a small grocery store, very short, half an hour. it could be a large facility like this or a large chain market, it would take us 3 or 4 hours. it's up to us to really work with the chef to know where the food is coming from, what kind of foods they are selling that day, how long it's been out and how they are preparing that. >> would you even check something like the temperature on the dish washing machine. >> that's correct. when we do the inspection, we're looking at the facilities for vermin control, everything that goes in your mouth, the dish washer, proper sanitizer to sanitize your dish ware. are they using wiping cloths to wipe down the food areas, what concentration of bleach do they use to do the kill? those are all comprehensive things that the inspector has to do is as part of the inspection for food places. yes, we do check for temperature.
we have test strips to put on the plates, high temperature dish washer has to go to 180 degrees. that will kill most of the pathogens whereas they can use chlorine hydrochloride or ammonium or use iodine for dish ware, too. whatever your preferences happen to be. >> how often do you inspect a restaurant? . >> restaurants are normally anywhere from 3 times a year to maybe grocery stores maybe once a year if they have no delis and also we do complaints immediately. if they have consistently good scores here, we will do less so we can spend more time on places that need our attention. >> as we go upstairs here, i had a couple things i wanted to mention before we do that. one is disabled access is a big issue all over the city,
particularly for public facilities like this that are open to the public. and this has to be fully accessible, the doors have to be accessible. you may have noticed there's a ramp up to the level, there's an accessible path of travel all the way through. it has accessible toilet facilities upstairs. that's something that is checked when the building is first constructed. we then inspect on a complaint basis. we expect people to maintain, as they have here, their accessible compliance. if this was a new building we would say this restaurant has to be sound isolated from the residential apartment above. but that only applies to buildings built after 1974. this is an old building and it's not required but sound attenuation is a really big deal in restaurants. i have heard from my buddy in
the acoustickal world that there was a big problem. >> people were, like, we love your restaurant but it's too loud. >> they came in to try to mitigate the sound here and what did they do? this is really fascinating. the smooth ceiling above me here looks solid, but it's really not. it's a microperforated vinyl, very tight, can't even see it unless you look at it extremely close. >> they heated the room up and then pulled it. >> and stretches. above it, it has acoustickal bat installation of a special type. the ceiling runs all the way over the bar so it became access i will. people no longer complained about it. >> we don't have it nearly as much. we noticed immediately the complaint level going down. it was a big difference in
tonal. it wasn't just loudness, but the tone in here changed a lot. >> a lot of people are sensitive to high noise levels. were you planning on that when you built the restaurant? . >> from what i heard, we worked with a man by the name of charles saulter and most restaurants don't bother with it because most of the times it seems the architects aren't taking that into consideration. they are more interested in what it looks like. most of my friends, we all deal with that after, you know, is the sound issue. >> like anything else, when you have to come in and fix it it's a lot more expensive than when you do it the first time. >> we had fought really time to get the bead board ceiling which we ended up covering up. >> beautiful bead board ceiling which they ended up covering up. >> our cost, all said and done, was 50, 60 thousand dollars plus two days lost revenue from closing. this will probably do more.
>> there are other ways acoustickal consultants can tell you to reduce that problem in restaurants. you can put soft stuff on the walls. these are very hard walls. there's nothing that absorbs sound on the walls. curtains, which wouldn't suit the spirit of the restaurant, but you can put soft stuff up, you can put soft stuff on the floor to absorb sound, but that's the first place to start so you don't have sound that reflects back and forth, it bounces up and stops. okay, so here is the plan now. we're going to -- maybe we'll break up into 3 groups and we can get maybe one of the health inspectors, mr. lu, upstairs and you can be downstairs here and i can get spencer who is a building inspetor who knows everything about inspection upstairs in the kitchen upstairs. who else -- oh, tony, you want to be just -- mitch, are you
okay down here in thkitchen to answer questions and tom harvy, our fire captain, maybe you can be anywhere you want, tom, you can answer questions. . >> this is for breaking right here, sweet potatoes. . >> we're just watching where things are located. you have chemicals here. the contact surfaces, we're looking at if there's any vermin. vermin primarily like to be
hidden, just like inspectors, we don't like to come out in the open. things like mice, which are the least intelligent we're talking about, they will be in the back area. you will see droppings. you see that? . >> oh, my god. >> nothing in this corner here. pretty good. these are rodent-proof containers. you conclude the rodents may be in there to eat the food. hard to get at. utensils are pretty good. there's eggs out here but they will be used quickly. >> that's right. >> bakery products, our understanding, have to be kept
at room temperature for the dough to rise. we have to work with a lot of pastry chefs. these are storage containers. allowed by law. now, we have restaurants who use chemicals on the food. that's be allowed. we are very careful to be sure they use proper items like this. we have a -- i usually have my temperature gun. we usually take a temperature, we stir it up and take a surface temperature. it should be fairly close. you want to know what kind of
product it is. if it's something that needs to be cooled quickly, we like the temperature to come from 140 to about 41 degrees within 6 hours time. today we're not equiped to do that. the reason i'm looking at other structures, roaches like to stay under in the crevices, they like to lay their eggs. sometimes you look at high water areas because we're looking for cockroaches. duck is being cooled down, you don't have to put it in the refrigerator right away. if you put it in the
refrigerator right away, it will lose (inaudible) you have to allow time for it to cool down correctly. you allow that to cool down, it's still fairly hot. it's a big thing for us in our special reports. you have to have hand washing facilities adjacent to your food handling area. it's important to have warm water, soap and towels to help to flush away the particulates on your ands. like alcohol wash. we don't allow that because it doesn't wash away the stuff on your hands. warm water, soap and towels as part of the operation of your kitchen. we don't want them washing their hands in the area where they are washing dishes at.
we don't want them washing their hands over in the area they are preparing the kitchen at, they need to have a separate sink. although it might be grandfathered in, in some of the new facilities, but new facilities you have to have separate hand washing facilities. if they didn't have soap or towels or warm water we would take 12 points off. we know that's one of the highest transmission routes is, is not washing the hands or using the restroom and not washing the hands. can you imagine what it is out there in the basement where they actually had the food preparation during world war ii? that's a hard job, the restaurant business. i said before, talking about that's probably one of the toughest jobs to have in a
restaurant, own a strauplt, all the things you have to worry about besides the food skills, your overhead, your worker's comp and just traipsing in and asking questions is a hard thing to do. this is a state department and this is support for multi use -- we are required by law if you do not have a dish washer that you have alternate methods to clean your dishes. soap with -- detergent with hot water, this is going to be a sanitizer with hot water, a 30-second bath in the sanitizer then you dry it up. this is an example of the process. nothing here is ready to eat. there is nothing here that we have to carry away.
separate area. this preparation is what we're looking for. >> we are upstairs here at town hall restaurant in the kitchen for what preparation? production. >> party. >> there's pastry, you do desserts and stuff here as well, right? we are here, one of the interesting things about commercial kitchens, they have a lot of special requirements for removing the waste products of cooking. so we have steam, we have heat, we have grease-laden vapor and all those things result in materials that have to be evacuated through the hood and duct system. here we have a type 1, all welded, and it has inside it these things heading down, these are heads for the system
called an ancill system. tom, what is an ancill system? . >> it's a brand name, actually. this is a fire extinguishing system. the nozzle is here and there's also co2 which would expel the liquid out to cover and extinguish any type of fire that may happen that might be created by fuel on the stove. this is the way if the cook or someone sees the problem they can manually activate it, but there's a fusible link also, it could release the co2 cartridge and put the extinguishing material out over the entire stove area. if it activates they are going to be out of business for a little while. >> you see a feasible link.